Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tuesday 25 May

Playing N/S with Gerry came 2nd in the Club's Men's Pairs Championships with 58%.

The second hand we played against Bob & Ian was very interesting after Ian surprised Gerry by opening East 1S.  This was passed round to me and I am too strong to bid 2H so start with a double. Gerry bid 2D and now I bid 2H showing good hand / good hearts. Gerry bid 3D and now my turn to surprise Gerry, I bid 3NT.

Ian just went for the spade lead, I knocked out the Ace, he then switched to a club and I had 10 tricks.
Most were in 4S by South, but 10 tricks there wasn't as good. How do you defeat 3NT? Well a club lead is quite possible on the bidding.  If you lead the Ace, North simply holds up and still makes 10 tricks. However what if after two clubs West switches to a diamond to Q and K.  There are many variations but they all lead to 3N making (double dummy of course).
Lead 2C and North can duck (double dummy), but now to defeat the contract, West must switch to a diamond to kill Dummy.
Of course North will read 2C as 4 cards, win the King and play on spades, one off.

A tricky hand against David and Raymond.  I opened 2NT and after a heart transfer ended in 3NT.
David led 4S, looks sure to be 5 spades, maybe 6.  I won the Queen.  If I can find QC I have 6 black tricks, AD and two sure hearts.  I decided to try A and J hearts first before looking for QC. There is a fair chance that JH will be ducked anyway.  However Raymond naturally took JH as David showed out and returned 3S.  I now know David has 5 spades and 1 heart so 7 minor cards to 4 in Raymond's hand.  I therefore cashed AC and finessed 10C and cashed my 9 tricks.  I was quite happy with that but poor score, others are making 10.
Playing Match Points I should perhaps have thought more rather than just trying to ensure my contract.  The way to a top score might start with an immediate finesse of TC, then run TD, though West should cover. So after T,K,A,2 of diamonds, exit with JD.  Win spade return, you have 9 tricks, do you now finesse a heart in the hope of 10? Psychologically you never risk a game contract like that, so you end with 9 tricks.
Alternatively, win spade lead, finesse 10C and finesse JH.  That sets up 9 tricks, play 7C to King and run TD.  This way you will come to 10 tricks. Probably the best way though it is a blind choice on the club finesse but if it loses and the spades are cleared, then a doubleton KH onside gives you another chance of 9 tricks.  However still not displeased with my line, you always concentrate on making these contracts rather than overtricks despite the scoring.